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Old March 31st, 2004, 04:51 PM
bobrich100
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Default considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

We're considering 7 nights from Southampton on QE2 in August. We just came off a nice time on Holland America, Zaandam, in the Caribbean. Great space, both in the cabins and outside. We were never crowded anywhere on the ship. Even our inside cabin was good sized.
We've crised 5 times on various lines.
Is QE2 likely to be crowded at places?
Will the dining at the lowball (Mauritania) dining room bowl us over or will we be disappointed? The Zaandam did real well.
Is there any place to see cabin layouts? I understand there is wide variation among the cabins. I assume I can book a particular cabin, can't I?
Have you recent cruisers felt that service is slipping, the QE2 is now the plain stepsister?
I'd love to hear that the quality will be terrific and that our experience will be flawless and rewarding.
Any cruisers with experience on the Caronia?
I look forward to any and all responses.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Having cruised on the Caronia, I would recommend her - especially, unless you are over 50, she will become unavailable later this year.
My friends & I had the cheapest rooms on the ship and space was ample (though I didn't see others to compare with) - rumours about bunk beds on the QE2 worry me!.

She is a small ship, but I liked that - & all the public rooms are close to each other. IF weather is bad, you might feel a bit crowded in the public rooms purely because there are not many of them - but as far as I know everyone can sit in the ballroom if they wish. In fact even on the one bad day we had it wasn't over crowded.
When the weather was good everyone is out on deck anyway.

Service is wonderful. Food is great & far too plentiful! Dressing up is fun.
People tend to be older - but there seemed to be plenty of us in the 40-55 age range, and younger.

Obviously I love the Caronia, & having only cruised once, I don't have anything to compare her with, but I would go on Caronia again if I could.

Karen.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 08:07 AM
bobrich100
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Default Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Karen,
Thanks for your posting.
I'm turning 50 later this year. Are you saying I should book the Caronia now or wait until she's decommissioned? : )
When did you sail? Recently? What were your ports of call?
Should I assume that since you are reading here, you'er looking forward to your next cruise?
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 08:10 PM
Haze
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Default Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

I have done 5 transatlantics on the QE2, the last one was last year. I have also been on the Caronia. I have to say that as much as i like the QE2 , the Caronia would be my preferrred ship. I also know that cunard is getting ready to sell the Caronia which is really too bad. The Caronia is smaller and more intimate. It hods 650 passengers. There is single time for dining. The ratio of crew to passenger is very high. I did a Canada new england cruise in 2001 on Caronia. I liked everything about it. We were upgraded to an cabin with an obstructed view but it was very spacious. I still remember the cabin #123 on the second deck from the top. The food was spectacualr also.

The mauritania dinign room on QE2 is great. We have been in both dining rooms. The differnce was rhat in the first class dining room they will cook to order anything that you want. There is also mor selection on the menue. 5 entrees versus 3 in Mauritania.
We found the only problem in Mauritania was that the lunch service and vreakfast service was slow. We had boththose meals in the Lido Cafe. The dinner service was great but they could not seem to get the other two meal s to the table warm.
We have travelled o the 5th ceck and also the 4th. Inside cabins and ooutside. We found the space ample.
I hope this helps. I would be gald to answer any other questions you may have.
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Old April 5th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Hi Bobrich

"I'm turning 50 later this year. Are you saying I should book the Caronia now or wait until she's decommissioned? : ) "
<g> No I just meant that she has been sold to Saga who only take bookings from the over 50s & they take over in November (I think).

"When did you sail? Recently? What were your ports of call? "
We sailed in September 2003 to La Coruna (Spain) Leixoes (Portugal) Santander (Spain) and Guernsey (Channel Islands UK). It was wonderful, the only thing that really got to me was that the clocks kept going back and forward - UK and Portugal were on a different time to Spain (by an hour).
Weather was good except towards the end, which meant we couldn't get off at Guernsey (an anchor port). It was very relaxing and reasonably cheap - Spain was closed (We did a tour in the morning at La Coruna then it was siesta time, & we visited Santander on a Sunday!) and due to a tour in Leixoes followed by an afternoon on deck (going to town - Oporto - required getting a shuttle bus - I didn't want to risk missing the ship), and the weather at Guernsey, we never get to go shopping!

"Should I assume that since you are reading here, you'er looking forward to your next cruise?"
I continue reading because I loved it so much - I am considering another cruise, but my friends weren't as impressed, so it will be on my own, or perhaps with my brother if he can raise some money. I did consider inviting my sister on a 4 day cruise in May (only a bit more for 2 than for 1) but forgot she is on her family hoiday around then!
I would love to go again, especially on the Caronia, but I had a bad break of my arm at the end of January, and just day to day living is taking all my attention - it is getting better though, so perhaps...

Hope you enjoy your cruise, which ever one you choose.

Karen
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Old April 5th, 2004, 11:58 AM
jon jon is offline
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Default Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Hi Karen,

I was excited to read about your Sept 2003 Caronia trip, as I am taking that same trip in Sept. 2004. We'll be at La Coruna and Santander, with a 3d stop in another small Spanish town, Gijon. Luckily, no stops on Sunday. What do you recommend doing in La Coruna and Santander? Any other tips or advice? Thanks!
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Old April 6th, 2004, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Jon

In La Coruna we did a ships excursion in the morning - 'Tapas & ...' (I forget the name - it was a trip round the town, with a photo stop at the lighthouse, stopping in the old town for a short walk, followed by tapas and wine in a local restaraunt. Unfortunately it was foggy, so didn't see much from the coach, and even the lighthouse was hidden. Note if you take a similar trip, the roman part is apparently inside the visible part : and there is no time on a 'photo stop' to get to the light house from the car park.

In the afternoon we did our own thing, but as I said it was siesta time so much of the town was closed. We did a little shopping in the one shop that was open, then found a bar and had a relaxed drink, before heading back.

The Quay at La Coruna is a nice walk - one of the masted cruise ships was in (wind something), so we looked at her & got talking to her passengers, staff and even some locals.
The fog didn't lift until we left - which the captain said was unusual! But when we had a emergency visit 2 days later to send a passenger to hosipital, the closer we got to La Coruna, the worse the weather seemed to get!

Santander, was only for the morning, and we elected not to do an excursion, so we just wandered into the shopping areas (narrow roads/lanes running parallel to the sea) and back - all the shops we closed, but the cafes were open. We had coffee in one of the open squares before strolling on. We walked back along the harbour wall and could see Caronia 'playing' with her lifeboats (some sort of staff drill). Where Caronia was docked is very near to the town and you can get some lovely photos of her, from several angles, with very little interferring port infrastructure.
Our walk did take us around the cathederal, but being Sunday we did not attempt to go in.

Of the 2 excursions we took, both were good, but I have to say I preferred the Portuguese one as the tour guide had a lot more to say about Portuguese history. Its probably the luck of the draw though which tour guide you get.

On our trip, the port days were preceeded by talks about the ports, but the one we did go to was on the first sea day, & I was still coping with the clocks going forward and sleeping in a different bed, so I fell asleep!!. However, there are details of each port at the pursers desk (put out the evening before arrival), with sights to see, a little map etc.

Ohh, you are tempting me to get the photos out - but I am work, so can't do that!!

Karen
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Old April 6th, 2004, 09:24 AM
jon jon is offline
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Default Re: Re: Re: considering QE2 or Caronia in August 2004

Karen,

Thanks for the info on the ports. I hope we don't get foggy weather! Unfortunately, we don't stop in Portugal. Thanks also for the heads up about siesta time. We'll definitely plan our days with that in consideration.

Cheers!
Jon
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